Pagoto Kaimaki: Orchid Ice Cream With Gum Mastic

Pagoto Kaimaki: Orchid Ice Cream With Gum Mastic

Learn a classic Greek ice cream preparation made with gum mastic and salepi (ground orchid root) that is often served with syrupy Greek cakes.
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 10 persons



  1. Step 1

    Gather the ingredients.
  2. Step 2

    Grind the mastic. Mastic is usually sold in drops of resin which can stick to the mortar and pestle during grinding. To avoid, freeze mastic for 15 minutes before using and place it along with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sugar in the mortar. Grind with the pestle.
  3. Step 3

    In a mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup of the milk with the ground mastic (and sugar used to grind) until completely blended.
  4. Step 4

    Dissolve the salep in 1/2 cup of cold milk.
  5. Step 5

    Warm the remaining milk in a saucepan over low heat.
  6. Step 6

    Beating the mastic mixture at high speed, add the warm milk, then the dissolved salep.
  7. Step 7

    Add remaining sugar and cream.
  8. Step 8

    Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and boil over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and clumping. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Ice cream maker: When cooled, transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Without ice cream maker: Transfer to a metal container, cover with a tightly fitting lid or foil and place in the freezer. Every half hour, remove from freezer, transfer to a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until frothy. Quickly place back in the metal container and put in the freezer. Repeat 3 more times.
  9. Step 9

    Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Note about buying salep: The most common form available has been premixed with sugar and other additives. The best salep for this recipe is the pure ground orchid root if you can find it. If not, use 4 to 5 times the amount of salep called for in the recipe and decrease the sugar to 1 cup.